Monday 24 May 2021

How To Save A Life by Eva Carter | Book Review

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How To Save A Life by Eva Carter - 4/5
"Sometimes saving a life is only the start of the story . . .

It’s nearly midnight on the eve of the millennium when eighteen-year-old Joel’s heart stops. A school friend, Kerry, performs CPR for almost twenty exhausting minutes, ultimately saving Joel’s life, while her best friend Tim freezes, unable to help.

That moment of life and death changes the course of all three lives over the next two decades: each time Kerry, Joel and Tim believe they’ve found love, discovered their vocation, or simply moved on, their lives collide again.

. . . Because bravery isn’t just about life or death decisions; it’s also about how to keep on living afterwards."

This book is a beauty. 

On New Year's Eve 1999, 17-year-olds Kerry and Tim are A-Level students hoping to become doctors. Whilst they are out celebrating, old school acquaintance and aspiring footballer Joel collapses. Kerry instantly runs to him, while Tim stands frozen, and performs CPR. He is essentially dead for 18 minutes but Kerry saved his life. 

The book then follows their lives over the course of the next eighteen years. Following Joel's cardiac arrest, he has an ICD fitted and can no longer play football because of it. His mood has changed and he feels like he has nothing to live for anymore. His life goes into a downward spiral and it is heartbreaking to read. 

We also follow Kerry and Tim's lives, all three of their relationships and how they link in together. There is massive depth to this story and while I didn't warm to any of the characters initially, I had a soft spot for Joel by the end. We see each of their struggles and how they manage to get out of them. There are a lot of crossed wires and near misses. 

How To Save A Life is a stunner of a book and carries an important message about how important it is that we all know how to do CPR correctly. It also covers topics such as death, mental health issues, miscarriage and drug abuse.

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